Flying Dragons in the Congo
In the dark swamps of Africa the natives have long been wary of a certain type of flying serpent they consider a dragon. These animals are only encountered by those unfortunate or stupid enough to venture into the swampy haunts of these dragons and many do not return. Many of these reported encounters do not come from thousands of years ago but in relatively recent history such as the 18th century when the United States of America was just starting out. Charles Gould, a geological surveyor and lover of nature and legends obtained this startling inofrmation of Congoloese flying dragons in his book Mythical Monsters:
“Though dragons have completely dropped out of all modern works on natural history, they were still retained and regarded as quite orthodox until a little before the time of Cuvier;…For instance, Pigafetta, in a report of the kingdom of Congo (The Harleian Collections of Travels, vol. ii, 1745, p. 457.) ‘gathered out of the discourses of Mr. E. Lopes, a Portuguese,’ speaking of the province of Bemba, which he defines as ‘on the sea coast from the river Ambrize, until the river Coanza towards the south,’ says of serpents, ‘There are also certain other creatures which, being as big as rams, have wings like dragons, with long tails, and long chaps, and divers rows of teeth, and feed upon raw flesh. Their colour is blue and green, their skin painted like scales, and they have two feet but no more. The Pagan negroes used to worship them as gods, and to this day you may see divers of them that are kept for a marvel. And because they are very rare, the chief lords there curiously preserve them, and suffer the people to worship them, which tendeth greatly to their profits by reason of the gifts and oblations which the people offer unto them.’ And John Barbot, Agent-General of the Royal Company of Africa, in his description of the coasts of South Guinea, (Churchill, Collections of Voyages, 1746, p. 213.) says: ‘Some blacks assuring me that…there are winged serpents or dragons having a forked tail and a prodigious wide mouth, full of sharp teeth, extremely mischievous to mankind, and more particularly to small children.’” (Gould, Charles, Mythical Monsters, W.H. Allen & Co., London, 1886, pages 201-202)
It is clear that these creatures, which are also sighted in other areas of the contient (including Mount Kilimanjaro) are regarded by the native people as living, flesh and blood animals, and not demons or evil spirits, though they are feared extensively. It is also clear that they are revered as powerful and worshipped by some tribes for their awe inspiring attributes.
The indentity of the creature is quite clear from the description. It seems that these creatures, sometimes called Batamzinga, Olitiau, Kongamato or others, is a Pterosaur, at least one species still living (albeit rare) in Africa. These flying reptiles have been reported all through history around the world by most cultures and appear to still be surviving in Africa.
Tropical regions with dense jungles and swamps would provide an excellent palce for such a large reptile to live undetected except by those who venture deeper in than they should. There have been other, mroe recent reports of these flying dragons as well. Dr. J.L.B. Smith wrote in his 1956 book Old Fourlegs about flying dragons from Moutn Kilimanjaro in Tanzania:
“…one man had actually seen such a creature in flight close by at night. I did not and do not dispute at least the possibility that some such creature may still exist.” (Smith, J.L.B., Old Fourlegs, 1956, pp. 108-109.)
Perhaps most fascinating is the account Frank Welland records in his book In Witchbound Africa In which he describes the native peoples' absolute certainty of the animals' biological identity. He makes it abundantly clear that the native people consider these flying reptiles as real, but ferocious animals and that they can be nothing else but Pterosaurs still living in Africa:
“The evidence for the pterodactyl is that the natives can describe it so accurately, unprompted, and that they all agree about it. There is negative support also in the fact that they said they could not identify any other of the prehistoric monsters which I showed them…The natives do not consider it to be an unnatural thing like a mulombe [demon] only a very awful thing, like a man-eating lion or a rogue elephant, but infinitely worse… I have mentioned the Jiundu swamp [northwestern Zambia] as one of the reputed haunts of the kongamato, and I must say that the place itself is the very kind of place in which such a reptile might exist, if it is possible anywhere.” (Welland, 1932, pp. 238, 240.)
It seems that from all the eyewitness descriptions and native knowledge on these flying dragons that some species of Pterosaur is still alive and making a bit of a stir in Africa with those unfortunate enough to disturb such amazing animals. These creatures are just one more in a long list of matter of fact dragon encounters throughout history and even in modern times that point unmistakenly to humans and dinosaurs coexisting just as the Creation account of Genesis states.
Pterosaurs described in Egypt by several respected scholars.
The well-respected Greek researcher Herodotus wrote:
"There is a place in Arabia, situated very near the city of Buto, to which I went, on hearing of some winged serpents; and when I arrived there, I saw bones and spines of serpents, in such quantities as it would be impossible to describe. The form of the serpent is like that of the water-snake; but he has wings without feathers, and as like as possible to the wings of a bat." (Herodotus, Historiae, tr. Henry Clay, 1850, pp. 75-76.)
John Goertzen noted the Egyptian representation of tail vanes with flying reptiles and concluded that they must have observed pterosaurs or they would not have known to sketch this leaf-shaped tail. He also matched a flying reptile, observed in Egypt and sketched by the outstanding Renaissance scientist Pierre Belon, with the Dimorphodon genus of pterosaur. (Goertzen, J.C., "Shadows of Rhamphorhynchoid Pterosaurs in Ancient Egypt and Nubia," Cryptozoology, Vol 13, 1998.)